However, there are some things to watch for, especially when a new person comes into our lives. Telling the truth comes naturally, and most honest people don’t have to wait, after being asked a question, before they begin to formulate their answers. Not so with liars. They need more time to get their story straight. That’s why you may notice longer-than-normal pauses when you ask them something.

There are other clues as well. Look for general evasiveness, along with the inability to answer a “yes” or a “no” question directly. If you see a constellation of these clues, proceed very carefully.

Hyde took very awkward long pauses….especially in therapy!  Have you noticed this too?


Narcissists and Those Long Pauses

12 thoughts on “Narcissists and Those Long Pauses

  1. Oh, yes, marriedtohyde. You know, before I distanced myself from him in the relationship, I am not sure about the pauses because I was trying so hard to be a submissive wife and condemning and blaming myself for everything that was “off” in the relationship that I didn’t push often to get to the truth when things were shady or didn’t make sense. Now that I am living separated in the same house and push back to get at the truth when what he says does not add up, oh boy, do things go silent for the most awkward pauses ever! It’s like I can hear the “tick, tick, tick” of the “computer” in his brain searching through the files of what to say next, how far to lie, which tactic to take. It’s SO obvious! It is so much easier to catch him lying now that I trust my intuition and don’t give him the benefit of the doubt when there is reason to doubt.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes. The change in perspective does wonders for the view you get of the narc. You really nailed it about the mechanical thinking process in those pregnant pauses.

      Did you ever happen to go to marriage counseling with him, Seeing the Light? Talk about awkward. My faker took a full minute to answer the therapist on multiple ocassions. Another thing he did with me was to say “I don’t know the right answer” and I said there is no “right” answer…I am asking you how you feel.

      That pic of Pinocchio the original poster put with the article was spot on for more reasons than the obvious growing nose. Wooden boys…that is what they are, and as long as they run from their issues, that is what they will remain. Sad.


      • No, we never went to marriage counseling together. You see, there was no need because I was the problem – the only problem – so I was the one being counseled…by professional counselors, pastors, lay people in the church – you name it. Anything we could do to get me fixed. He was the hero, the martyr, the amazing husband who had to put up with me. (I didn’t hold up under the crazy-making very well). By the time I figured out what was going on, (there is no end to my embarrassment over how naive and blind I was), I was done. The whole relationship had been a sham – counseling was pretty much not going to fix that. There never had been a foundation. The very thought of having to be his wife again in any sense of the word triggers my complex PTSD.

        Wooden boys is a good description. I recently had another in-depth conversation to try to wake him up for his sake and the sake of the children. It is always so startling just who he is. It creeps me out. There is no getting through to him. I should know better though because there is no one in the world who he looks down on more than me so why am I surprised when he discounts what I say? My current counselor – who actually believes that he is what he is – once told me that I have the best opportunity of anyone to reach him. I don’t think so. I think the targets of these types of men are probably the last people in the world to do that. I think they hold us in contempt.


      • “I think he holds us in contempt.”

        YES! For whatever reason targets are held in contempt by guys like this. I have never felt so unworthy of love and respect before, and that says a lot because I was a target for a long time. I am willing to bet your wooden boy/false husband is also very passive-aggressive.

        Do not feel bad about not holding up well under the crazy-making. I was married only two months before I had these very strong feelings of self-hatred and went into counseling. I couldn’t gigure out where it came from. My background was the perfect scapegoat for him to abuse me emotionally while under the care of a therapist. My suicidal ideation was labeled an emotional flashback from being raped instead of the true souce which was his cold devaluation of me, my son and the marriage. I think he only went to counseling so he could point and say, “look, I tried.”

        I am truly sorry you have experienced such emotional violence from a false-husband. You deserve to be loved, valued, respected, and cherished. Also, it is not your responsibility to reach him and show him the error of his ways–he alone is responsible for his self-destructive path. Period. He has the same Bible and he chooses to go against Christ’s directives. Not your responsibility. Period. Your counselor is very wrong to lay that burden on you.


      • Oh, yes. My pseudo-husband (I call him Gregory) is the poster boy for passive aggressive. His picture could be in the dictionary next to the definition of passive aggressive! He is the covert kind hiding under the image of a saint. Insidious.

        “Cold devaluation” you said. Exactly. I am so sorry that you have been through this, too. It’s funny, the people I used to know so long ago now used to value me. I had friends and I received positive feedback in school, at work, in my recreational involvements. Then you go from that – a community that supports and lifts you up and where you do the same to and for others – to a dark world where the person closest to you dismantles your worth and value as a human being at lightning speed. And where you will be expected to support and respect and encourage him, endlessly filling up a bottomless hole, while being told you never did or even tried. Oh, I understand the self-hatred and how quickly it sets in. I spent almost two decades so wrapped up in self-disgust and self-condemnation that I couldn’t see him for what he was. I really believe it was God who finally turned the light on and took all the facades away. It was like a neon sign flashing over Gregory’s head one day. You could have knocked me over with a feather. I had seen red flag after red flag over the years but only scolded myself harshly for doubting him when I noticed those things. Once the light came on things were different. I am humiliated to say that at my worst I actually used to hit myself and verbally abuse myself out loud when I was alone. Crazy-making is an apt word. I wish being able to see now undid all the damage all at once, but it doesn’t. I feel like the PTSD will plague me the rest of my life. Every day is like frantically trying to find the puzzle pieces scattered everywhere and put them back where they are supposed to fit, and like I don’t have my glasses and can’t even see what I am doing. Oh, how I want myself back and my brain and body to calm down.

        Thank you so much for your kind words. I have struggled, too, with my counselor putting that weight on me. Each time there has been pressure in that direction during a session I feel the reactions in my heart and my body. I have a bit of an over-developed sense of conscience and duty to others, but I think scripturally that there is a place for being done with trying to bring someone to his or her senses. I get to that point and shut it off, then we end up having a necessary conversation about an issue with the kids or something and I go into trying to open his eyes again. It’s always chilling. 2 Timothy 3:2-5 have been on my mind a lot lately. I think Gregory qualifies for the list. And at the end of that description, God’s instruction is to avoid them – not go after them, exhorting, reasoning again and again – just avoid them. That sounds like a command to me, and that is my goal at this point until I can get away from him.

        Thanks for being out here, marriedtohyde. You are a blessing to me. May God bless you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Is Gregory a mama’s boy, too?

        Covert–YES! Hiding behind a nice guy fascade–CHECK! There are a few strains of abusive personalities, but it is uncanny the similarities. Lundy Bancroft, in his book, “Why Does He Do That?” calls men like Gregory and Hyde “water torturers.” Here is the decription:

        THE WATER TORTURER [Lundy Bancroft, Why Does He Do That?]

        The Water Torturer’s style proves that anger doesn’t cause abuse. He can assault his partner psychologically without even raising his voice. He tends to stay calm in arguments, using his own evenness as a weapon to push her over the edge. He often has a superior or contemptuous grin on his face, smug and self-assured. He uses a repertoire of aggressive conversational tactics at low volume, including sarcasm, derision—such as openly laughing at her—mimicking her voice, and cruel, cutting remarks. Like Mr. Right, he tends to take things she has said and twist them beyond recognition to make her appear absurd, perhaps especially in front of other people. He gets to his partner through a slow but steady stream of low-level emotional assaults, and perhaps occasional shoves or other minor acts of violence that don’t generally cause visible injury but may do great psychological harm. He is relentless in his quiet derision and meanness.

        The impact on a woman of all these subtle tactics is that either her blood temperature rises to a boil or she feels stupid and inferior, or some combination of the two. In an argument, she may end up yelling in frustration, leaving the room crying, or sinking into silence. The Water Torturer then says, See, you’re the abusive one, not me. You’re the one who’s yelling and refusing to talk things out rationally. I wasn’t even raising my voice. It’s impossible to reason with you.

        The psychological effects of living with the Water Torturer can be severe. His tactics can be difficult to identify, so they sink in deeply. Women can find it difficult not to blame themselves for their reactions to what their partner does if they don’t even know what to call it. When someone slaps you in the face, you know you’ve been slapped. But when a woman feels psychologically assaulted, with little idea why, after an argument with The Water Torturer, she may turn her frustration inward. How do you seek support from a friend, for example, when you don’t know how to describe what is going wrong?

        The Water Torturer tends to genuinely believe that there is nothing unusual about his behavior. When his partner starts to confront him with his abusiveness—which she usually does sooner or later—he looks at her as if she were crazy and says, What the hell are you talking about? I’ve never done anything to you. Friends and relatives who have witnessed the couple’s interactions may back him up. They shake their heads and say to each other, I don’t know what goes on with her. She just explodes at him sometimes, and he’s so low-key. Their children can develop the impression that Mom blows up over nothing. She herself may start to wonder if there is something psychologically wrong with her.

        The Water Torturer is payback-oriented like most abusive men, but he may hide it better. If he is physically abusive, his violence may take the form of cold-hearted slaps for your own good or to get you to wake up rather than explosive rage. His moves appear carefully thought out, and he rarely makes obvious mistakes—such as letting his abusiveness show in public—that could turn other people against him or get him in legal trouble.

        If you are involved with a Water Torturer, you may struggle for years trying to figure out what is happening. You may feel that you overreact to his behavior and that he isn’t really so bad. But the effects of his control and contempt have crept up on you over the years. If you finally leave him, you may experience intense periods of delayed rage, as you become conscious of how quietly but deathly oppressive he was.

        This style of man rarely lasts long in an abuser program unless he has a court order. He is so accustomed to having complete success with his tactics that he can’t tolerate an environment where the counselors recognize and name his maneuvers and don’t let him get away with them. He tends to rapidly decide that his group leaders are as crazy as his partner and heads for the door.

        The central attitudes driving the Water Torturer are:

        • You are crazy. You fly off the handle over nothing.

        • I can easily convince other people that you’re the one who is messed up.

        • As long as I’m calm, you can’t call anything I do abusive, no matter how cruel.

        • I know exactly how to get under your skin.
        Here is a link with the descriptions for all the abuser types Lundy Bancroft has identified:

        (Going to coninue msg, but afraid of losing what is already written.)


      • God saved me from Hyde–I was doing all in my power to stay. I didn’t even know I was being abused until he was gone. The Lord led me by His Spirit to take protective measures (changing locks, limiting communication to text/email) and prompted the search queries that helped me to see the truth about the abuse. Best of all, God spoke to me in my most desperate hour when I’d received Hyde’s divorce e-mail; He told me I was not worth less, I was worth everything to Him…He who loves without end loves me. That shift in perspective about my worth has been transformative. I am worthy of love and respect and kindness…and so are you, Seeing the Light! We are treasured children of God, and we mustn’t forget that.

        Please let go of your shame…it is not your burden to carry. You only did what any kind, loving, honest person does…you trusted. There is no shame in your self-abuse, you were made unwell by someone who intended you those harms himself. I cut myself, purged, and drank to the point of blackout a few times. The mean, scathing voice in my head was relentless. After he left me, I realized that voice was him inside my head. Almost immediately after he left, the self-criticism stopped.

        PTSD is not fun. It is embarrassing even at times. It has been about a year since the discard and I still have panic attacks, nightmares, and startle easily, but it is much less severe now.

        I am just a baby Christian, so my scriptural knowledge is still limited. It seems to me that God has a limit for enduring wickedness, why then are we told we must endure it, forever seeking to soften the hearts of stone? Are we to believe that we are expected to have greater tolerance than God himself? No.

        Jeremiah 5:21-29
        Hear this, you foolish and senseless people,
            who have eyes but do not see,
            who have ears but do not hear:
        22 Should you not fear me?” declares the Lord.
            “Should you not tremble in my presence?
        I made the sand a boundary for the sea,
            an everlasting barrier it cannot cross.
        The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail;
            they may roar, but they cannot cross it.
        23 But these people have stubborn and rebellious hearts;
            they have turned aside and gone away.
        24 They do not say to themselves,
            ‘Let us fear the Lord our God,
        who gives autumn and spring rains in season,
            who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest.’
        25 Your wrongdoings have kept these away;
            your sins have deprived you of good.
        26 “Among my people are the wicked
            who lie in wait like men who snare birds
            and like those who set traps to catch people.
        27 Like cages full of birds,
            their houses are full of deceit;
        they have become rich and powerful
        28     and have grown fat and sleek.
        Their evil deeds have no limit;
            they do not seek justice.
        They do not promote the case of the fatherless;
            they do not defend the just cause of the poor.
        29 Should I not punish them for this?”
            declares the Lord.
        “Should I not avenge myself
            on such a nation as this?

        May I ask what prevents you from being able to leave? You can choose to answer or not answer that. No pressure at all.

        You are a blessing to me too! This is the worst thing I have ever experienced…if I can help someone else keep hope, then I am making a difference and my suffering is not in vain.



  2. Thank you SO much for your encouragement, marriedtohyde. It’s so good to hear positive words.

    I may reply in pieces because I am so tired, but I wanted to answer some of your questions and comments.

    You asked if Gregory is a mama’s boy. (By the way, I named him Gregory after the character in the movie, “Gaslight.”) 🙂 It’s a good question and I know why you asked, but I would have to say, not really. But, boy, oh boy, does he have mommy issues. His mother and he did not have a close relationship; it was, in fact, very tense and strained. His parents were alcoholics, and his mother died several years ago. She is the one he always described as the bad guy. (I REALLY should have paid attention to that). He described her as controlling, manipulative, a liar. He always acted like he was afraid of her displeasure. During the years I was around her, I found her to be quiet and hard to get to know, though friendly on the surface. His father has always given me the creeps, but I wasn’t around him enough to understand why. Now that I see what I see, I suspect that his father is passive aggressive (he is most certainly passive), that he emulated his father, and that is why Gregory sees her as more of the bad guy. [Sidenote: I am so scared for my son, who is taking on more and more of his father’s traits in this way. I am in a panic how to help him before it’s too late]. His father was a classic enabler for her alcoholism even when her health was failing terribly. I got the feeling he needed her weak. What I have sensed over the years was that I was somehow playing out Gregory’s mother’s role in the unresolved issues he has with her.

    I have to add that there is a part of me that feels sorry for Gregory having grown up in a very dysfunctional home. But that compassion and pity make me vulnerable and I think that was part of me being a good target. I can’t safely stay there. I tell myself that he has made choices how to respond to it. There are too many people with dysfunctional childhoods that don’t turn into entitled users and abusers. He has chosen self-righteousness. He has grabbed on to the Mr. Righteous Christian image who is above all of that alcoholism nonsense. HE wouldn’t do something like THAT! He is over all the issues of his childhood. He told me I am blessed to have someone like him in my life. He has had light come shining in to expose the truth, and he has chosen to remain blind to who he really is and what he is doing.

    (And, yes, I grew up in a very dysfunctional home as well).

    More later 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh wow. You have quite a lot of insight especially since you are still living under the same roof and have to deal with the yuck coming from him.

      I actually have had an unexpectedly insane evening (related to the crazy train Hyde’s trying to force me on). I do not have the mental ability to process all you’ve said now, but I want you to know that I am here and I will pray for you.

      You are not alone, Seing the Light.

      Hugs to you!


    • Mommy issues. That sure seems to be a common theme with these passive aggressive men.

      I think it’s normal to feel sad for an abusive partner because you can see how they were hurt, but you’re right it doesn’t excuse the behavior. It never does. God gave him the same free will he gave each of us and so their choices to abuse are that CHOICES.

      I also grew up in a dysfunctional home. My therapist says that something God written wrong on my hard drive. He says that I grew up having to chase love and so I choose men who make me prove I’m worthy of their love. Wow, that’s so sad to see in writing.

      I hope you are doing well write when you can.


  3. My ex was a mama’s boy too. Before we married, I thought he would be a good husband because he loved his mama so much and was always good to her, concerned for her etc. She was most certainly emotionally abused by her husband. Anyway, I ignored the red flags during the dating yrs (don’t we all?) After she died, he turned into a monster.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is exactly what I thought too! One of the few time Mr. Hyde cried was when I asked him his greatest fear and it was his mom dying. I didn’t realize then that his mother adoration was a sign of unhealthiness. They triangulated me all the time, but I didn’t catch on until later.

      Yikes! I am glad you are free from his abuse!


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